*Our QB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic/S2 test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.



Not much change for our grade and scouting on Young, but up a tick higher for the S2 testing results.

Football people keep describing Young as a point guard type QB, and I get that…but how they think that is a compliment or worthy of the #1 overall pick in the draft with three other elite QB talents with the arm/body to go with it (arms and bodies that Young isn't even close in)…I have no idea. The 'point guard' commentary is a tacit admission that Young isn't that great.

But it's now likely that Young will be the first pick in the draft to Carolina. All the media hype and the S2 test leaks -- it's gonna push a bad decision-making team like Carolina into a massive mistake.

The offense will be built around Young's inefficiencies/reduced capabilities…and Frank Reich will love it because he'll have a QB he has to micromanage a flimsy pass game with -- like he had to do with Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers (all failed attempts). So, Young will have safe numbers dinking and dunking for a while and 2-3-4-5 seasons from now people will look back and wonder how Young wound up the #1 pick. I WILL NOT FORGET. Hey, a healthy Tua would've been the #1 pick in his draft over Burrow and Herbert. The media is getting their 'tank for Tua' wishes with a different Alabama QB (Young).

I stand by everything I wrote (below) in January about Bryce, but I'm not going to say Young will bust…he'll just be like a weaker Kenny Pickett rookie season effort, and he'll get better as he goes along but never top tier or top half of the league QB and it will be deemed a mistake compared to what Carolina could've had with the #1 pick years from now…and the Carolina execs will take the blame, but not the media. 




Pre-Read Notes: This is the first (of many) 2023 NFL Draft scouting reports we will produce this season, as always. But the very first one I release free-to-view, you don't have to be a subscriber. The first scouting report is 'on the house', the subsequent reports are for subscribers only.

With that, this first report has a little longer lead-in to set the table for the 2023 scouting/reporting season -- and then it so happens this Bryce Young report warranted a longer background set up as well. Needed, I believe, to properly evaluate Bryce Young. So, you'll get your money's worth here on this longer report.


I figured this study should be easy – copy/paste the scouting reports for Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones and just change the names to 'Bryce Young'!  The scouting issue/dilemma/context, in recent years, is always the same with these Alabama quarterbacks…actually, it is getting worse…

How can you properly scout an Alabama quarterback prospect in the Year of our Lord 2023? Bryce Young is playing quarterback with the best college surrounding talent money can buy (legitimately now!)…he has elite offensive linemen/protection…he has elite weapons…he has an elite defense…he has an elite coaching staff and facilities. Young had every advantage you could ever want as a college quarterback – so how do you account for that advantage when comparing his college performance with, for example, Brock Purdy, who played in the shadows at 'boring' Iowa State surrounded by 3-star recruits?

Even before NILs/college kids were getting paid, Alabama was still the supreme place to go play in order to juice your draft stock/income. So much national interest in Alabama and the SEC. The public is by-and-large going to hear (and thus accept) the things barked at them constantly on TV by paid-to-hype-the-show TV announcers. And if the media and fans always see a team in the CFB playoffs (the highest rated viewership games in CFB), it leaves an impression…it must mean that all the Alabama players are a 'cut above', obvious future NFL stars.

For the last decade, every January, same story -- the initial NFL Draft prospect rankings almost always have Alabama players at the top of their list.  If they're not #1 ranked at their position, it's because there's another prospect from another big school (usually SEC) ranked just ahead of them. And, magically, in what should be an annual subjective great debate with diversity of opinion on the various draft prospects…rather becomes every scout and draft service falling in line with eerily similar opinions/rankings on everything, an 'emotional' process that leaves 'experts' always seeming to favor Alabama and/or the players who played on teams in the CFB playoffs.

Remember when everyone in football was so clever with 'Tank for Tua'? 99.9% of the football analysts signed on with the 'Tank for Tua' mindset…they believed that Tua was generational. They didn't come to that belief through deep, thorough study…they believed it because it's 'what everyone else was saying'. With all the talking heads and media scouts pushing the same exact thing…the public follows right along, and so people/fans desperately, feverishly promoted/accepted a 'Tank for Tua' mindset.

How foolish does 'Tank for Tua' look now?

It's not like a lot of football experts fell for some random linebacker from N.C. State, and proclaimed him as great, but then he never was that good in the NFL. This was the biggest sport in the world's biggest prospect call at its most critical position in the game. Tua scouting became every highly (and lowly) paid expert stating that this thing (Tua) was the top of the mountain, a great/elite 'can't miss' prospect above all others. And then it wasn't…it wasn't even close. How could everyone be so wrong?

'Tank for Tua' should have been the code, the rallying cry to start a scouting revolution…a revolution of not thinking/believing whatever the media masses are hive mind perpetrating. Every single football person from NFL scouts to football media analysts to coaches and GMs – they ALL bought into and desired 'Tank for Tua'. And before that, Sam Darnold…also, Jameis Winston…also, Mac Jones -- the football intelligentsia may not always be wrong, but you sure wouldn't go broke betting on them that way! Plus, the bigger/more important the prospect…the more wrong the collective hive mind seems to be.

So, it's 2023…and who is the top-rated draft prospect to start us out in January? Why it's an Alabama QB prospect! Shocking! Or, if it isn't the Alabama QB prospect…it's the Ohio State QB prospect. Double-shocking!! Or, if it isn't the Alabama QB prospect or the Ohio State QB prospect…it's the Alabama or Georgia defensive prospect! Triple-shocking!!!

As a football scout, college and pro, for over a decade, I've been fighting this globally accepted mindset and trying to judge the prospects without all the noise. As an outsider to the football business, back in the day, coming from the world of finance and data, I tried to develop scouting algorithms to cut through the noise. My scouting models worked pretty well, garnered some minor national attention and set this business in motion. But, along the way on this scouting journey/quest, I have also learned the importance of the actual science of 'scouting' (the tape) of prospects to compare them to other prospects (past and present) to try and find out 'the truth'. I don't care about, nor am I swayed by 'Alabama' or any other school label. I cannot afford to just follow the analysts' echo chamber.

This is my first scouting report/study of many in 2023, so…sorry for the State for the Union Address, but it is necessary to start out here. Yes, I'm here to talk about Bryce Young but I'm also setting the table for our entire 2023 NFL Draft scouting journey…

I can only stay in business, year-after-year, for scouting guidance or for high stakes Fantasy players, or handicapping if my scouting is well above the mainstream mass psychosis belief in all the same prospects. I won't/can't be perfect… but I need to be way better than everyone else, or I'm out of business/might as well 'join them' for a paycheck. And working against the mainstream (which is 99%+ of the scouting competition…the 'big sites') the past 10+ years - well…'business is good'. I'm not saying this to brag, but to set the table for our 2023 scouting reports and grades and rankings -- as always, they will be nothing like you'll see anywhere else. And I mention it to try and help deprogram, un-brainwash new readers.

I used to be one of the unaware, asleep followers of mainstream football analysis and scouting. I got awakened a decade+ ago…and I've been helping wake people up since. Most people who read my scouting material write it off instantly because it's often the only alternative opinion on the scouting of a player…and I get dismissed with a 'no one else is saying this' retort. 'No one else is saying this' should be on my tombstone, but long-time subscribers can tell you – most of the time, when it's just me alone against the entirety of the football scouting machine on a prospect…I'm 'the favorite' in that contest.

So, when I tell you (and explain why) Bryce Young is NOT the top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft…that he's likely NOT even a 1st-round prospect…I'm not doing it to get a rise out of you. I'm not trying to be different for different's sake. I mean everything I'm about to say, as a scout with my 'money on the line'…and I mean it with good reason, and with a great track record to fall back on.

…and if you think I'm going to harp on Young's 'size' as the reason for my dissenting opinion, you're incorrect (but we'll discuss it for sure).

With all that said, let's talk about Bryce Young

Let's roll back to the Tua and Mac (Jones), the recent Alabama QB parallels discussion -- because before I even entered this tape and data study, it was a mindset that needed to be embraced as I embarked on the film sessions. You cannot deny that Alabama QB prospects (and Ohio State's, among a very few others) have a unique, over-helpful set of circumstances around them during their college play.

Tua and Mac's output was fantastic in college. Tua was gonna be the hands down #1 pick in his draft for years leading up to his draft/since his CFB title game win as a freshman (came in relief of Jalen Hurts) but then he got hurt a few times, some serious injuries, and it cast some doubt, and then Joe Burrow came out of nowhere (another reason to question the two-year-straight Bryce Young drumbeat) -- but Tua being drafted #6 overall, with all his medical issues at the time, might as well have been a '#1 overall equivalent' mindset from the NFL/Miami.

Tua struggled mightily in year one in the NFL. Tua was better year two, but for the second year in a row the offseason was filled with urgent media/fans pleas for Miami to trade for Deshaun Watson or trade for anyone or draft anyone to replace him -- and then there was the Tom Brady deal already in place to replace Tua (a deal that got ruined by the Brian Flores situation) … after one whole NFL year of 'tanking for Tua', the owner was 'out' on Tua. About three years from the apex of 'Tank for Tua'…the outcry, the 'knowing' from the football pundits, was all conveniently forgotten, drowned out by the 'Replace Tua immediately' screams…led by the same people who were formerly religiously, fervently 'Tank for Tua' believers.

With Tua's career on the line, in many ways, year three/2022…the perfect storm hit -- Tyreek Hill was the absolute perfect fit for Tua with his short, quick hitter, accurate style. Tyreek is the greatest weapon WR of our lifetime, or any lifetime…and that opened up things for Jaylen Waddle too -- the perfect storm WR-duo. Tua keeps getting blessed from Alabama to Miami with perfect WR options to work with. BUT Tua finished 2022 poorly, got hurt again…and this offseason will be filled NOT ONLY with media/fans wanting Tua to be replaced but replacement, big name QBs will be LINED UP to get a chance to work with Tyreek-Waddle, including Tom Brady among others.

All that to say…'Tank for Tua', and the 99.9% football intelligentsia acceptance rate of it, never panned out the way it was supposed to.

The media/fans wondered aloud if Mac Jones was the next Tom Brady, and gushed over him at the 2021 Senior Bowl, and pushed the hope that Kyle Shanahan was trading up for Mac at #3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, as debates also raged on whether Mac should go #2 to the Jets over Zach Wilson. *And just so I don't seem like the biggest scouting know-it-all, I graded/scouted Zach Wilson well and it's one of my biggest misses on QB scouting in my career…and I'll be dissecting and reporting on that miss, and the lessons to be learned, this offseason. I usually do not miss by much on any QB scouting…but that one is a massive miss.

After all the hype and love going in and coming out of his draft, and then a solid rookie campaign, Mac Jones was benched for a moment in year two…and might be benched for Bailey Zappe in year three. No one, from media to fan, is really thinking of Mac Jones as a future elite QB anymore.

Tua wasn't worth his draft pick level…nor was Mac. Not even close. The power of 'Alabama' swayed football people too much, once again. The power of huge numbers/output swayed people too much (because you're gonna get numbers as the Alabama QB with the highly paid all-star team to work with). Now, we have Bryce Young…the 2023 projected #1 overall pick/prospect across the mainstream, worst case he's top 3 nationally/for everybody. Before I even turn on the tape, I'm inclined to blindly believe Young is gonna be vastly overrated in the same way that all the past decades of QB scouting have been off on these guys.




*For new readers: A quick background note: I do not watch any college football in-season. I do not want to corrupt/distract all the film watching of the NFL games every week, every game. In the summers, I do conduct a scouting series where myself and FFM's Ross Jacobs watch 15-30 minutes of tape on the top 50+ mainstream prospects for the next draft -- just a quick glimpse, fast reaction report out. But when it's the offseason, I start scouting/watching these prospects, this past college season, really for the first time to get a much better feel/discovery.



But, with an open mind…I went through my scouting process on Bryce Young to see what my scouting said and then what our scouting models calculated. As I write this section, I haven't run the analytics early grade on Young (though I will when I get to that section), because I don't want the results to bias my thinking going into the tape study.

In short, what I saw/my notes: Bryce Young knows how to play quarterback, in general. He's a well-groomed, well-practiced quarterback who knows what he is doing. He's not a superior athlete who happens to play QB...he's a moderate-armed pocket QB…more a game-manager QB with a very solid QB mind. But there's nothing elite in his game.

Young's arm is average-to-below average. He does not look great making sideline throws in games where the opponent is in Alabama's class (or close, at least). Sure, against Utah State, with 5+ seconds of time to survey things and step into a throw clean with no pass rush pressure within 2-3 yards of him…then, yes, he's got a solid arm. But when he isn't afforded the 'Alabama' luxuries, he cannot get the ball out to the sidelines with real zip or accuracy, not like you'd want in a #1 pick type QB.

Let's talk about 'opponents in Alabama's class'… When I scout Young (or anyone), I want to see/study him facing the toughest competition. I'm watching Young against Georgia, Texas, and LSU to get my feel for his skills. When I watched his work against Louisiana-Monroe…it's a joke because the opposing athletes are smaller, slower and Young has 3-5+ seconds to sit in a totally protected pocket and look for his 1st-round draft pick WRs running loose on opposing corners who won't make it out of an NFL summer tryout.  Against like-competition, Bryce Young looks a lot more human …he looks smaller, and somewhat out of his league too.

Speaking of his throwing skills, Young also has a bad habit…a bit of a concerning 'tell'…of leaning his whole body back, shifting weight to his back foot when any pressure arises against the opponents who have the athletes that can pressure an Alabama QB. Young leans back in some 'fear' (it looks to me) and has to all-arm a throw leaning back/with his weight shifted back -- and that's the type of throw that takes his average arm down to junk status and those throws are highly inaccurate…compared to someone like Justin Herbert, who is half-a-foot taller than Young with 5-10x the arm. Herbert can get pinched in a pocket, be flat footed and he just arm whips a laser beam on the money 10-50 yards downfield -- Bryce Young does not have that ability, and in the NFL, you're in some trouble if you don't have that ability. You don't get 3-5 seconds to throw every pass in the NFL like you do at Alabama.

Watching Young against Georgia, Texas, and LSU -- Young looked very generic, college-good. But not NFL-good/great. Tua and Mac looked better than Young, as passer prospects, when they played top opponents in their college careers…but they got exposed too, just not as much as Young did (to me). Also, Young vs. Georgia, Texas, and LSU…win and a loss vs. Georgia in 2021, last second FG win vs. Texas 2022, and lost to LSU 2022…went (2-2) versus that group but very close to being (1-3) or (0-4) against them. And he did not really dominate with his performance in any of those games.

Young is mobile enough, but he's not super-quick/fast running-wise. He's not a weaponized runner at all…he's your average QB mobility…not a statue, not a weapon. Probably a 4.7 range runner.

He's listed at 6'0"/194. He's probably close to six-foot or under 6'0", but not radically so…we'll see. The 194 pounds might be more 185-190 during the season. He looks a bit thin for what you like in the NFL, but he could sturdy up his body in the NFL transition and be 'OK' for the NFL at like 6'0"/195-200 as he gets thicker/fills out more. BUT the NFL tends to want bigger, stronger-armed QBs for their team than Young's peak size hope (6'0"/200)…the NFL especially wants that with a #1 overall pick. Those 'height' barriers, for scouts/GMs, are being broken down in the NFL over time, but there's still a scouting advantage to the taller, thicker-framed, stronger armed QB prospects…and Young is neither of those things. His frame is going to be a debate/negative…his body looks like one not built for taking many hits at the next level. And Tua's constant physical problems (from hard hits) this season could impact the way scouts look at Young.

What Young does have going for him is 'intangibles'. NFL coaches and GMs will not be turned off by him in interviews. Young is a very high character. He's affable and well-liked, and coachable. He's a team captain on his quality of character not forcefulness of character. He's not an aggressive personality, like some in the NFL crave from a QB prospect.

Also, helping Young's NFL Draft prospects is -- he knows how to play quarterback. The position, the playbook, the game plans are not over his head. He has a long history of QB success in high school and college and has been trained in the modern era to be a top level QB. He has a good football/QB mind and training for the NFL game, he just doesn't have the physical tools to become elite, a franchise guy…but he can be 'competent' or even 'good' in a perfect spot in the NFL.

Overall, my initial assessment, Young is not a bad QB to have on the roster, but that's not the label you want for a supposed top 1-2-3 overall NFL Draft pick. If Young had played his college ball at…let's say, Arkansas…he would not be seen as the clear #1 overall prospect in this draft (in Jan. 2023); he'd be more of a day three QB but possible day two option with his high school accolades.

The 'power' of 'Alabama'. 



Bryce Young, Through the Lens of Our QB Scouting Algorithm:

 -- Young had a better 2021 than 2022 season…more yards and TDs per game, a better Comp. Pct., but he also had an all-star cast at WR in 2021 (Jameson, Metchie, Bolden, and Br. Robinson at RB). A drop-off in WR talent/experience in 2022 may be the easy explanation for Young's production dip…but that's not what you want to see from a potential #1 draft pick prospect.

 -- Rushed for over 10 yards in a game just seven times in 27 starts. *Obviously, CFB counts sack lost yardage as rushing yards.

 -- Against Georgia 2x (2021), Texas (2022), and LSU (2022): 59.2% Comp. Pct., 6 TDs/3 INTs, 1.5 TD passes per game, 1,331 yards (332.8 yards) on a ton of passing attempts (because the games were close/Alabama down and scrambling to get back in), causing a weak 6.96 yards per attempt. Very 'human' numbers against equal-ish athletic opposition.


69.0% Comp. Pct. with 264.4 passing yards, 2.87 passing TDs per game = Tua's 2nd-season, 2018, #2 in the Heisman year.

77.4% Comp. Pct. with 346.2 passing yards, 3.15 passing TDs per game = Mac Jones' final season at Alabama/3rd in the Heisman

66.9% Comp. Pct. with 324.8 passing yards, 3.13 passing TDs per game = Bryce Young's best season, 2021, his Heisman year

64.5% Comp. Pct. with 277.3 passing yards, 2.67 passing TDs per game = Bryce Young's final season/2022

All these numbers are very good…and very similar, for the most part. Why Mac Jones did not win the Heisman, but Bryce Young did, is interesting when you're looking at the numbers…and that Mac was the only one here who won a national championship. But that's an aside.


Projected 2023 NFL Combine measurables:


9.5" hands, 32" arms

Will likely skip the 40-time at the Combine and Pro Day but looks like a 4.7+ runner with a 7.0 +/- three-cone.



The Historical QB Prospects to Whom Bryce Young Most Compares Within Our System:

I didn't really think about this until I got to this portion of the report, but…there's not many sub-200-pound QB prospects to even try to compare Young to…not ones who played high-level D1 ball and succeeded.

I've got over 600+ QB prospects that I've scouted/graded over the years. And only 26 of them are under 200 pounds from 2022 and back 10+ years. Take away the non-D1 prospects and we're at 16. Take out the mid-major conference QBs and we're down to 8…eight QB prospects who were/are under 200 pounds and played D1/major conference football.

When it comes down to it, for his size, Bryce Young is one of a kind -- one of the smallest/thinnest overall QB prospects in recent years, but one who produced at a high level in a power conference. To some degree, there is no great comparison for Young. People throw around Drew Brees as a comp, because that's who all small/talented QBs get compared to…but Brees was 15-20 pounds heavier/thicker…with a more powerful arm (my judgment).

I'm going to be very liberal on the physical comp and going to lean more on our passer data analysis proprietary (weighted for opponent)…and block/ignore any size/passer comps who were also more mobile QBs…to try and find some kind of comps for Young that make sense. And honestly, I don't like any of these comps the computer spit back at me…and I'm having a hard time coming up with one from my mind's eye.

It makes me think back to last year's group of rookies…

Kenny Pickett was bigger, and much better in the pocket…but has a very average arm. I like Pickett as a better overall prospect than Young, at this point.

Brock Purdy is a possibility, for a comp of some kind, but Purdy's NFL tape (pre and in season) is fantastic…way better than Young, but maybe it's what Young can aspire to. The last two years, both Ross Jacobs (FFM scout) and I liked Purdy's scouting/game but had questions and mostly thought he was too small (and too dismissed by scouts) to get a real chance in the NFL, but he's bigger than Young (Purdy is 6'0.5"/212!

Otherwise, this is the comp table (below) that our system analysis produced as a 'type'/comp for Young…it's not good news -- that Wofford, Blough, Brandon Allen scrapper QB profile keeps popping up…QBs who were quite successful in D1 play but never had the size or hype or arm to be taken seriously from there but are hanging in the NFL. Young is a better version of them, but the question is, how much better?

I don't see any real Drew Brees in Young's play (on tape) at all. Maybe Young lies somewhere between Brees and Blough? Maybe between Blough and Purdy? None of that sounds like something that would make Young a highly picked/paid franchise QB. He continues to feel like a competent NFL QB hopeful…but not a future elite.



LJax Rating







Adj Comp Pct

Adj Yds per Comp

Adj Pass per TD

Adj Pass Per INT


















Wake Forest
























































*'LJax rating' – new for 2023, as we re-do our grading systems to better identify/reward the spread offense QB prospects…looking for the runner-passer talents.

**"Adj" = A view of adjusted college output in our system…adjusted for strength of opponent.

***A score of 8.5+ is where we see a stronger correlation of QBs going on to become NFL good-to-great. A scouting score of 9.5+ is rarefied air—higher potential for becoming great-to-elite.

QBs scoring 6.0–8.0 are finding more success in the new passing era of the NFL (2014–on). Depending upon the system and surrounding weapons, a 6.0–8.0 rated QB can do fine in today's NFL—with the right circumstances…but they are not 'the next Tom Brady' guys, just NFL-useful guys.


2023 NFL Draft Outlook:

I assume Young will go top three in the 2023 NFL Draft, because the hype will be insane and the media won't wanna cross 'Alabama', if they know what's good for them.

But I do believe there is a chance Young will get exposed in this pre-Draft process and he will fall in the rankings/public sentiment…like Pickett-Howell-Corral-Willis did…QBs who were all (mostly) top 5 overall projections for most websites out of the gates in 2021 (on the January QB rankings, which for the NFL Draft are usually a disaster when looked back on). As the pre-NFL Draft analysis meatgrinder gets up-to-speed the next few months, Young could get exposed/dinged for size and arm, and fall…I think he could fall right out of the 1st-round, but 'Alabama' should keep him top 10-20 overall.

Which side of the argument will win? (a) Alabama hype carries him into the top part of the draft or (b) scouting reality hits and he falls. I could see either happening, but I'll go with 'over-drafted' (top 10)/the hype allure too strong for some GM. Tua should've been out of the 1st-round but went #6 overall. Mac Jones was a very controversial/hotly debated prospect, and people pushed him top 5 pre-Draft…but he ended up #15 overall.

I think Young will go, as a pure guess at what the NFL will do, in the top 10-15. I do not believe he'll be the #1 pick in the draft…that I'd nearly guarantee, which I shouldn't because I'm playing with fire betting against 'Alabama' things.

If I were an NFL GM, I am not considering drafting Young…especially for the price. There is too much QB talent flooding the NFL to settle on a physically smaller question-mark QB like this.



NFL Outlook:   

I foresee a future for Young where he is drafted to be a starter quickly…the fans will demand it because they've been brainwashed into believing that he's the #1-2 prospect in the draft already. And Young can game manage well/run a basic offense (Arthur Smith would LOVE him). Young could be OK in a good spot…like Brock Purdy found in San Francisco (but I think Purdy is far superior to Young). But as with Tua and Mac, there will be such an impatience when Young gets exposed as 'marginally good' at best, not 'awesome' or 'elite' that he could be fighting for his starting career going into year three, maybe even year two. Tua and Mac both were turned on (by media/fans) in/after their second season…and Young could run into the same thing, because he is arguably the lesser physically talented of the three latest Alabama prospects.

Bryce Young is a competent QB…but he's not the #1-2 pick in the draft worthy. He's not a franchise QB in my eyes.